Monday, April 23, 2018

Real Madrid will relish PSG test, says Xabi Alonso

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 11 Dec 2017

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Two-time Champions League winner Xabi Alonso believes Real Madrid will enjoy the chance to take on Paris Saint-Germain in a blockbuster last-16 tie.

The reigning champions were drawn against Neymar’s men on Monday after their second-placed finish in Group H denied them a seeded berth.

Madrid comfortably accounted for Borussia Dortmund and APOEL home and away, but managed only a point from their two meetings with Tottenham.

And despite them sitting fourth in LaLiga – eight points off leaders Barcelona – former Los Blancos favourite Alonso insists his old club will not take a backward step.

“Madrid like big challenges and they got just that. It will be a wonderful challenge against Paris,” Alonso told UEFA.com.

“It is one of those games that you really like, and that those who go to the Bernabeu like to see.

“It is tough to say who might be favourites, even though that means nothing at the end of the day. I am backing Madrid.”

Emilio Butragueno, another ex-Madrid star and the club’s current director of institutional relations, described PSG as having the potential to go all the way.

“This game could well have been the final such is the power of both sides,” said the former Spain striker.

“A draw at this stage is like that, though, and one of the two sides will be knocked out.

“Paris are getting stronger year on year. They played an impeccable group stage and have huge potential.”

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